It’s almost football season, y’all.
For the second time since The Corrs released “Breathless,” I, as a UNC Charlotte alum, have a football season to deal with. It’s dreamy, really. It’s hard to believe we actually have a team. (And we’ll take on the Fightin’ Camels of Campbell University in eight days!)
The Charlotte 49ers’ football history is shorter in duration than my junior-year experience. We were a commuter campus without a lot of pride in who we were. That’s changing. Still, I don’t know the full experience of campus pride.
Luckily, my friends do. I’ve already hosted Deb from Deb Runs, who shared what it’s like to be a Hokie. It made me well up with pride, and simultaneously crave a turkey leg. Strange, that. But if Arkansas fans can host a pig pickin’ … (Sorry, Bacon Thompson).
Today, Megan of Walker Fireside Chats is here to tell us what it’s like to be a Red Raider.
Megan co-hosts the Hump Day Happenings, a new and tremendous linkup. Megan is a stellar writer herself. Her One Happy Thing posts are a wonderful acknowledgement of light among the darkness. Check them out.
Please welcome Megan today. And if the 49ers and Red Raiders wind up in the Kraft Cheese Bowl presented by Pontiac, expect the trash talk to start HERE.
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When Eli from Coach Daddy asked me to write a guest post about what it means to be a Red Raider, I felt a huge surge of pride just thinking about my beloved Texas Tech University. I’ve always found it interesting people are so fiercely loyal to their universities, but quickly forget about their high schools. I think it’s because our experiences at universities ultimately shape who we are. They expand on our potential and give us opportunities we never would have had otherwise. We get to meet people who become like family. What other place can change your life so profoundly?
With that said, here’s what it means to be a Red Raider.
My first experience at Texas Tech occurred way back in the day when I was a little girl. My dad attended Texas Tech in the 1980’s for bachelor’s and master’s in chemical engineering. Some of my earliest memories involve my dad cheering for the Red Raiders during football season. My brother and I even sported some memorabilia during a family vacation:
When it came time for me to choose a university, I knew I wanted to stay in Texas where most of my family lives. I could have applied to any public university and been accepted, because I was in the top 10 percent of my high school class.
One spring break, my parents took me to my top three choices: the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University and Texas Tech University. I was looking for a place with friendly people, somewhere I could see myself growing.
No offense to any Texas State alumni, but I hated the campus right off the bat. It was ugly and I didn’t like San Marcos.
At the University of Texas, I was very impressed by the prestige of the university. But it was so spread out and confusing to navigate. We asked some people milling around for directions, and they weren’t very friendly. Being in downtown Austin was also very stressful. Keep in mind, I came from Houston, so I was used to a big-city experience. But I just didn’t feel at home at UT.
When we visited Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, I fell in love right away. The campus is so beautiful with it’s Spanish-style architecture. Texas Tech is a fixture of the community and has the largest contiguous campus in the United States after the Air Force Academy, so there was plenty of room to move about. The people were so friendly too!
|Spanish-style architecture across campus – via|
|The statue of Will Rogers wrapped before a football game – via|
|Campus wrapped in lights for the annual Carol of Lights ceremony – via|
Some people accuse my dad of indoctrinating me to love Texas Tech, but really, his high praise of the university just let me know there was something worthy to love at Texas Tech. When my dad took this picture of me at the main entrance, I knew I had found my home.
So what does it mean to be a Red Raider? It means coming home. It means taking a deep breath of the (sometimes dusty) Lubbock air and feeling like you can breathe again. It means GUNS UP and the Fight Song. It means always being the underdog in the Big 12, but impressing the hell out of people over and over again.
We’re rogue, we’re proud, we’re Red Raiders!
Thanks to Eli for letting me talk about my home.